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SIGGRAPH 2021 Honors History of Computer Graphics With First-of-its-kind Program
Catch celebrations of industry giants and the legacies they've left during the 48th annual event

CHICAGO, Aug. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- SIGGRAPH 2021 announces its brand-new Retrospective program for the upcoming virtual conference, designed to reflect on the history of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Live events within the program will be held during the virtual conference's live week, 9–13 August, with select content available on-demand afterward through 29 October.

How does industry history inform and inspire the work we do today? SIGGRAPH's new Retrospective program aims to answer this question through a series of panels plus an exclusive Featured Speaker session that will kick off the live conference week: "Turing Award and Beyond: In Conversation With Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan" on 9 August at 8 am PDT.

"Designing this first-of-its-kind offering from the conference has been a real pleasure," shared SIGGRAPH 2021 Retrospective Chair Andres Burbano, of Universidad de los Andes. "This program presents an opportunity for our community to find and celebrate the richness and complexity of history where we usually find the technological future."

The curated Retrospective programming for 2021 addresses everything from techno-cultural diversity to museums and collections to publications and industry legacy, revealing multiple perspectives that explore the yesterday of digital media technologies. Researchers, practitioners, critical thinkers, historians, inventors, engineers, artists, and curators from over 10 countries contributed to the program. Highlights include:

From Brazil: A Forest of Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques | Retrospective
Monday, 9 August, 11:30 am PDT
This panel is devoted to the history of the deep, diverse, and rich contributions from Brazil to the global digital culture, from early computer art and the design of the Lua programming language to the use of digital media by contemporary indigenous communities. Details.

Museums, Computer History and Institutional Challenges | Retrospective
Tuesday, 10 August, 9 am PDT
Discover the challenges that face the captivating and exceptional institutions and museums that collect the hardware and software of computer history and computer art history, featuring speakers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, and the Computer History Museum. Details.

Silicon Graphics Legacy | Retrospective
Tuesday, 10 August, 11 am PDT
This panel will feature computer graphics pioneer Jim Clark and is a collaboration with the Computer History Museum. The session will walk through the historical contributions of Silicon Graphics, the company that put the graphics into silicon and brought the silicon to Silicon Valley. Details.

Sisters of Code | Retrospective
Wednesday, 11 August, 9:30 am PDT
This panel features three separate talks that will explore the contributions of the tremendous legacy of the work produced by women in fields such as information visualization, infographics, computer arts, and digital aesthetics. Details.

Celebration of Cinefex | Production Sessions Special Session
Wednesday, 11 August, 11 am PDT
This live retrospective event will honor the storied legacy of Cinefex magazine. Where the publication was once considered a risky long shot, it now stands as a renowned cornerstone of the visual effects and filmmaking industries. Details.

Making Computer Graphics History Public | Retrospective
Thursday, 12 August, 5:30 pm PDT
In this session, hear from people who have literally written the book on computer graphics history. Authors Alvy Ray Smith ("A Biography of the Pixel"), Jacob Gaboury ("Image Objects"), and Mary Whitton, Adele Newton, and Dave Kasik ("SIGGRAPH @50 History") will discuss their publications and how they contribute to documenting the industry's past. Details.

Retrospective sessions will be available to participants at the Ultimate and Enhanced registration levels. Learn more and register for SIGGRAPH 2021, the 48th international conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques, at

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges. ACM SIGGRAPH is a special interest group within ACM that serves as an interdisciplinary community for members in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The SIGGRAPH conference is the world's leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.  SIGGRAPH 2021, the 48th annual conference hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH, will take place virtually with live events 9–13 August and on-demand content available starting 2 August through 29 October. Click here for news from the conference and its partners